Gardaí paid €1.1m in 2017 to police 10 events

An Garda Síochána was paid more than €1.1m to police 10 of the country’s biggest events last year — with Electric Picnic topping the charts, figures reveal.

Gardaí paid €1.1m in 2017 to police 10 events

The Stradbally festival was the most expensive event of 2017 from a policing point of view, with promoters paying €307,980 in fees for gardaí to cover the event.

The Irish Examiner sought the 10 most costly events policed by An Garda Síochána in 2017, in terms of the non-public duty services provided by gardaí, and the associated fees charged to the events’ organisers.

The National Ploughing Championship was the next largest cost, at a cost of €250,000.

The majority of events in the top 10 were music gigs — Guns n’Roses at Slane (€165,000), Longitude at Marlay Park (€102,000), U2’s Joshua Tree Tour at Croke Park (€63,000) and Coldplay’s show at GAA headquarters (€61,500) made up the top six.

Croke Park also hosted the seventh-most expensive event — the All-Ireland Football Final between Dublin and Mayo, which cost €41,180.46 to police.

The Galway Races were marginally less expensive to police, at a cost of €40,443.14, while garden festival Bloom in the Phoenix Park and shows by Arcade Fire and The 1975 at Malahide Castle cost €40,000 each.

“Non-public duty is performed by members of An Garda Síochána under arrangements made with organisers of events such as football matches, concerts and race meetings, etc. who seek to engage the services of members of An Garda Síochána to perform duties to which they would not normally be assigned,” An Garda Síochána said.

“Members of An Garda Síochána have been made available for the performance of such duties and the State had charged for their services. This work is normally performed by members who would otherwise be off duty.

“It is generally the practice to charge organisations for the costs of duties performed by members inside the event.”

Garda HQ further revealed that while the costs of policing outside these events is mostly funded by the taxpayer, there are some exceptions.

“In general, the cost of policing duties performed by Gardaí outside the event such as traffic control, beat patrols and other public policing duties which would be additional to those normally performed at the location, are not paid by the organisation hosting the event but fall to be paid from the Garda Vote,” An Garda Siochana said.

“However, at some specific larger events An Garda Síochána seeks a contribution from the promoters to overall policing costs,” it said.

The top 10 most costly non-public duty events policed by gardaí:

1. Electric Picnic €307,980

2. The National Ploughing Championship €250,000.

3. Guns n’Roses at Slane €165,000

4. Longitude €102,000

5. U2 at Croke Park, cost €63,000

6. Coldplay at Croke Park €61,500

7. All Ireland Football Final €41,180.46

8. The Galway Races €40,443.14

9. Bloom in the Phoenix Park €40,000

10. Arcade Fire and The 1975 at Malahide Castle €40,000

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